POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) -- A new thrift shop that benefits senior citizens in Poway, opened to the public Thursday morning. "Reruns Resale" had its grand opening at 11 am at 12511 Poway Road Suite E.
For shopper-turned-volunteer Irene Alicea, Thursday's grand opening was a special day.
"Being by myself, it was very lonely, and during COVID, it was even worse. So it was a little depressing, and for me, this is like a brand new life," Alicea said.
During the pandemic, the Poway Senior Center had to lay off its staff. The city helped run a new location, but the funds were running dry. That's when volunteers of the 'Friends of Poway Seniors' decided to run a pop-up rummage sale.
"We're getting back to a generation that has given so much," volunteer Abby Boretto said. "They have become a forgotten generation, and so to us, it's important to remember them, to honor them, and help them as much as possible."
The idea was a big hit. A few blocks down, the Carriage Center strip mall used to be known as the 'Disneyland of thrift shops.' It housed a cluster of ten resale shops benefiting churches and non-profits since 1974. But those shut down when the property owner sold the land to a developer.
"There was a need in Poway for a thrift store, and we needed to be able to provide funding, and a lot of it, to help the city help out the seniors," President of 'Friends of Poway Seniors,' Cynthia Elizondo, said.
With the proceeds from previous rummage sales, which were held outdoors or in warehouses, 'Friends of Poway Seniors' were able to start a storefront. Volunteers hope it becomes a place where people can meet, socialize, and give new life to that one-of-a-kind trinket.
"It's a place where people can feel good again and not so alone," Alicea said.
Proceeds of the 'Reruns Resale' thrift shop not only go to seniors in Poway but also to the Soroptimist Transitional Housing Program, as well as veterans organizations.